Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


Pakistan’s human capital conundrum Shahid Mehmood

Publication Year : 2020
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In 1986, the Journal of Political Economy (JPE) published a paper (‘Increasing returns and long run growth’) by a relatively unknown economist. The same person, Paul Romer, got another one published in 1990 (‘Endogenous technical change’), which had managed to garner more than 20,000 citations by 2015! Together, these two articles changed the landscape of how the world contemplated long-run economic growth. It was Romer, and his research, that firmly entrenched the role of ‘human capital’ as arguably the most important component of long-term economic growth. Although there is no precise definition of the term, it generally stands for the cumulative knowledge possessed by an individual or society which can be usefully tapped for the purpose of income generation and economic growth.